Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Last Dance

The Last Dance

April 24, 2016

     This will be our last post from this computer here in our little apartment in Independence, Mo. What should I say? What CAN I say that doesn't sound all sappy? I asked my elder and we both decided that, really, this blog has been for us. If there have been one or two readers along the way, we hope they have felt the spirit of Independence. The spirit of these young missionaries that we love. Maybe even the desire to serve one of these Senior missions someday.
    So...back to what should I say? I want to make a note to myself how I felt as we completed our 18 months here in Missouri. When I read this in ten years will I remember those feelings of sadness, excitement, nervousness for what can take place next, happiness.....See, what are these feelings??
My mind is racing with something profound to write to end this, our last dance. There have been too many dear missionaries that have passed through our lives, too many Senior missionaries, too many good people in the Blue Mills Ward. I can't point to one defining moment, so I will end with a little experience I had this week.
     I have never been down to the parking lot at the stake center where the Mission Transfers take place every six weeks. I have always been up in the office doing the Lord's work there. Since I am no longer needed in that spot, I went down to say Good-bye to our friends. What a bittersweet time that was! There was such an energy there. These young "kids" are called and set apart as servants of the Lord.  The lot was buzzing with all these white shirts. All these pretty young girls. One of my friends, Elder Bradley, from UT was getting ready to head out to now be a Zone Leader in Lenexa, KS. Before he hopped in the car he took my hand and with a formal bow, he said, "Sister Seaman". With that he bent down and softly kissed my hand. Now, isn't that tender gesture something? He will never know how that could sum up my time here in the MIM. (Missouri Independence Mission)
     Can I end with that? Can I end by telling any of you who are thinking of serving to just go, do it. Can I end by reminding any of you (and ME) that we had written on our missionary forms that "Sister Seaman will serve anywhere but in an office with a computer". Can I end once more by saying that the Lord knows us. He knows Me. He knew I needed to learn to cry out to Him in prayer. I needed to stretch and grow. I needed to learn over and over again that my junior companion is my one true love and my Life. I needed to have the experience of watching and loving all these young missionaries that came through the door. So....so long, Independence. So long, Elder Bradley. May you tear 'em up out in Lenexa, KS with your new companion.

My Love,
Sister Seaman

Call the Dogs and Put out the Fire

     On Wednesday morning, Sister Seaman and I will fire up the Ol' Toyota and looking something like the Jed Clampet and family (The Beverly Hillbillies for those who can remember,) we will start our journey home via Salt Lake.  We are going to try following the Mormon Trail from Council Bluffs, Iowa to Salt lake and we will stop wherever Sister Seaman says. 
    It is with a heavy heart that we leave Missouri.  All the new friends, the historic sites, the rolling hills, green, green grass and trees, the ponds and streams everywhere will be truly missed but not forgotten.  Missouri is now part of us.  The Mission is part of us.  The missionaries, the members of the Blue Mills Ward, Independence, Far West, Hawn's Mill, Adam-Ondi-Ahmen will forever be with us (my favorite is Far West, I don't know why.)  All of the off-shoots of the LDS Church, the Restoration Branches, the Community of Christ Church (Old RLDS),  all are part of the mystery of Zion in Missouri. 
     I have simply loved it.  It has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.  To serve the missionaries on a daily basis has been so fulfilling.  I have loved those missionaries.  Their capacity to teach the gospel, with courage, boldness and love is beyond explanation. 
     I have had the greatest of companions in the mission field.  And even though I was not extended the opportunity to serve as the senior companion until the last couple of weeks, I would not trade her for anything or anyone.  She has been the greatest.  I love her her so much.
     So until we meet again, may the Lord bless and keep you and may he give you all the confidence you need to serve a mission and know, in small part, what it means to sacrifice.  If you want the truth, I would not call our mission a sacrifice.  It was just a great blessing to us and our family to be here. I know the Lord loves us all.  The gospel is true.  We led by latter-day prophets.  The Book of Mormon is the truest of all books.  #HE LIVES.  #BECAUSE OF HIM.  Stay the course, don't ever give up.

Love you,
Elder Seaman



It's Over

The parking lot has emptied. Missionaries are on their way with their new companions. Except these two.....Elders Walker from UT and Fili from Tonga. Waiting on a ride. These two are wonderful!  As for me (Sister Seaman) I have ride. And it is heading West real soon.

Transfers!

Posted on the van window. Reminds me of jr. High sports try-outs. My first and only time to watch it. In the past, I'm up at the office. So fun to see all our friends!

So, Long Elders

Our last transfer. Aren't they something?

Our Last Transfer

Some of our dear Sister friends. It was a bittersweet morning.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Elder Monroe liked my elder's tie

So he gave it to him. I missed the write-up in the handbook about the tie passing business that goes on in a mission. Elders Greenburg (l) and Monroe are just two of many, many good elders.

We are not Samoans

I just have to post this. Our friends in the ward gave us the get -up. We are in the privacy of our little apartment looking in our mission issued mirror. Don't think they like us best-----these people love ALL missionaries.

Tulips at Far West

My elder looking out over Adam-ondi-Ahman valley

Millstone from Haun's Mill

Haun's Mill on a quiet Spring Day

Oh Missouri, Missouri

Riding the Country Roads

April 17, 2016

     Yesterday, my elder led a group of 21 other Senior missionaries down the country roads of Missouri for another tour of Adam-ondi-Ahman, Far West, and Haun's Mill. As we were riding along, it hit me that we were the two "old ones". None of these missionaries were here last spring when we did the same route. None. And it is even hard for me to remember all of those who traveled along the country roads with us then. But they are our friends.
    That's the way it's supposed to be. Mission life moves on. The thing I will remember is the feel of the places we have visited here in Missouri. Seems a group of old Senior missionaries can get together and some will want to add their bit of knowledge to a story of the place we are visiting. I get a little confused in my mind on some details, but, I will never forget the feelings I have felt as we have visited these sacred spots.
     I dare not count how many years of service were driving in our caravan down the roads yesterday. At least two couples had served over 5 missions. Some of the couples were not spring chickens. One elder napped the afternoon away in the front seat of the van. I was happy for him because he is almost 80. One couple had served three different times in New York City doing three different assignments. I love to hear other Senior missionary's stories. Why are they here? Are they going again? We had a hodgepodge group of old people all doing different things in the Missouri Independence Mission from all over the country. Some love ice cream. Some don't. Some want to take a picture of every flower on the roadside. Some could care less. We may not have been best friends in our former lives, but while we are here, we have a common goal. That is to serve the Lord.
     It was a good day.

All my Love,
Sister Seaman

Oh Missouri, Missouri

     How can I keep the love alive.  Actual countdown has begun - 10 days left.  There are so many things that I have just loved while being here.  Maybe if I record them in some kind of order or no real order, I can at least look at this record and remember them.
     1.  Spring time and the most wonderful colors of nature.  Mostly green.  Real green. But there reds and pinks and whites and yellows.
     2.  The rivers and ponds all over the place.  I have never seen such water all over the landscape.
     3.  All of the different varieties of trees and bushes mostly running along the water courses.
     4.  All of the farm land.  The pastures, corn fields, bean fields and no state or federal land to speak of.
     5. All of the land, except for a mighty few places, grows grass or crops naturally.  There is not any irrigation to speak of.  Unlike the west where almost everything is irrigated and we fight over water rights, Missouri has abundant water and rain.
     6.  Riding mowers everywhere.
     7.  The rolling hills and valleys.  Especially north of Independence and all the way to Adam-Ondi-Ahman.
     8.The sacred and historical sites of the Church.  Especially the sacred sites.  Each site has its own spirit.  For instance, The temple site in Independence for its future importance,  the Far West Temple site (my favorite) which the Lord called sacred before the temple site was dedicated maybe because of some great event that happened way in the past, Haun's Mill has a great spirit of solemnity and peace there, probably because it is the resting place for those 17 men and boys who died there who were totally innocent) and finally Adam-Ondi-Ahman. This place has the feel of an open air temple.  The spirit whispers to you here of the importance of things that happened in the past and the great things that will happen here in the future.  You can not deny that it is a sacred place as you view the great valley and hills where Adam and Eve raised their family.
     9.  The missionaries we have been so privileged to serve with and to have served.  They are fun, courageous, smart,  dedicated to the Lord and doing His work.  We have made so many friends among these young Elders and Sisters.  I will truly miss them.  I love them all.
     10.  The Blue Mills Ward.  Bishop and Sister Talimatasi. The Samoan members and their Aaronic Priesthood holders who have shown me more how to respect and reverence the Sacrament.  The dear sisters and brothers who attended our temple prep classes.  The love this ward has for the Savior and his teachings.  We could not have been in a better place.
     These are just a few of the thoughts I have had today.  I am sure I could continue to sit here and write about hundreds of more.  This mission has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.  I pray that I can always remember how I felt here in Missouri.
     I love you all.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ as it has been revealed to Joseph Smith and the other Prophets of this dispensation is the only living and true church upon the earth.  Stay the course.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman

    
    

   

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Kirtland Temple Production at the Remnant Church

Farewell, McCuiston's

They have been Historical Records Preservationists. They headed east to VA. Soon, we will head west to AZ.

A sweet time at Target

Guess what I bought with my last bit of my Christmas gift card from the girls? Pants. We are going home and sadly, I have outgrown all my old ones.

So Long Target

So Long, Target

April 10, 2016

     My daughters gave me a gift certificate to Target for Christmas. There happens to be a Target close by our apartment here in Independence. Since we do not have one of these stores in our small town in AZ, it is somewhat of  a novelty for me to go browse the aisles and look at things I don't need.
     Yesterday, after the Christmas spirit has come and gone and the seasons have changed, I announced to my girls that I have finally spent the last dollar on that glorious gift card. I had to add $11.68 of my own cash to make it come out even.
     Now, you may think, "So what".....but this is the deal. Here I live in the Mansion Apartments on Lee Summit Road and Target had no idea I was running a warehouse out of my bedroom in their honor. I would go to their store, buy an item, bring it home, try it on, study it, take a picture of it for the girls with a note of thanks to them, study it some more, decide it was not for me, and return it on our next Pday. Then, the process would be repeated again....and again. Is it a sickness or was I just having a good time stretching and streeeeetching that gift card? Who knows. But it's over. I gave one big final thanks to my girls yesterday.
    On another note, we attended a production put on by the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ this week. It was in honor of the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. By the way, I was wearing a top I got at Target. I spoke to some ladies sitting behind us and found out they were members of the Community of Christ (formerly Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). They came because they love the Kirtland Temple too. The longer we have served here, the more confused I am about these break-off churches. And I am sure that feeling is likewise from some of them. The true gospel of Jesus Christ, led by President Thomas S. Monson, has so much to offer all of mankind. Can they not see it? In the intermission of this little play, the plates were passed to the organist playing rather loudly, "The Spirit of God".  My elder slept through most of the play and I didn't even disturb him.
    Our days are numbered. Yesterday we drove down the road crying as we listened to "Homeward Bound". How can a person cry because they are excited to go home and cry at the same time because they have to go Home. It's a strange thing.

My Love to all of you,
Sister Seaman 

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

     My wife is the greatest.  But everybody is "odd at times, even thee." Consequently, I have noted an unusual behavior on her part, on several occasions through out the years.  I have wondered if it is genetic or learned, and have debated it with myself on those same many occasions.  I know that Sister Seaman's father was very kind to her during her growing up years.  He would peel some cash off the wad he always had in his pocket and give her whatever she needed or wanted (my perspective.)  Unfortunately, I have never had a big wad of cash in my pocket that I could give her.  Anyway, she likes lots of clothes and small pretty things (what woman doesn't.) (This is not meant to be a negative comment so don't take it like it was meant that way.) Men generally like big things, but women like small pretty things. Lots of them.  An estate sale here in Missouri is like a good dream to Sister Seaman.  She will always find something she cannot live without.
     Now, it appears that we have stumbled onto a very inexpensive way to keep the demon in check and that is a "Gift Card."  The process of "buying and returning" has been taken to new heights.  It has lasted almost 4 months now. Sister Seaman has been as happy as I have seen her, and according to her perspective above, it is working quite well. She has been so excited each P-Day to bring something new home and then take it back the next week. We have laughed a good deal about this lately. I am happy if she if happy.
     Happiness is an elusive thing.  Everybody with any wisdom says we have to choose to be happy.  That may be so, but I have found that when you find yourself happy it is generally because of something you did that had good consequences.  For yourself or someone else.  Most of the time for someone else.  On a couple of occasions here in the mission field, I have seen real happiness.  I have seen a family accept the gospel and then be baptized and then a year later go to the temple and be sealed for time and eternity.  I have seen them soak it up like a sponge. There is nothing like that kind of happiness and joy.  What is it that brings that kind of happiness, it is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and watching the Holy ghost testify of the truth of it and then see the good things that happen.
     Sister Seaman and I are not good proselytizers, but we are firm in our testimonies of the Savior and are good at the supporting roles of missionary work.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the "Gift that keeps on giving" and it is the only real way to eternal happiness and joy.  So whether you are the buy and return type of person and/or a missionary you may find real happiness.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman




    

Sunday, April 3, 2016

This is what happens when I leave my office open

Man, we will miss these missionaries!

Red Buds in front of our office

Sing We Now at parting

Sing We Now at Parting

April 3, 2016

     Sing we now at parting
     One more strain of praise
     To our Heav'nly Father
     Sweetest songs we'll raise
     For his loving kindness
     For his tender care,
     Let our songs of gladness
     Fill this Sabbath air.


This closing song in the final session of the 186th General Conference brought back so many thoughts and feelings. Of course, as we holed up here in our little apartment in Independence for this, our final conference while we are on this mission, I had lots of thoughts and feelings. I feel pretty much like not bothering all of you with any of my discussion of what a great conference it was. You all had your own impressions and I'm quite sure they are a lot loftier than mine.

Three thoughts:
*I was nine years old in 1963 when President Monson began his service to the Lord. There were TWELVE temples on the earth. I could have recognized any of them from a picture held up in Primary. Today, there are 150 temples dotting the land. Our new grandson, Cody Tenney, is thrilled that President Monson announced one to be built in Zimbabwe. He wrote, "There are so many good people there who deserve the blessings of the Lord's house".
*What in the world did all of us do in the Spirit World to deserve to be here on the earth at this time when the gospel of Jesus Christ is so empowering, fills us with Hope, and blesses every aspect of our lives?
*Finally, did any of you see some little girls singing in the Tabernacle Choir? Was it my eyes? Or is that choir growing younger as I grow older? The music for EVERY session was absolutely grand.

So, my dear family back in Arizona....."Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever". Jeffrey R. Holland

Grandma, Grams, Mom, Sister Seaman 

 Refugees

     All of you know that the times we live in are perilous and dangerous.  As I have watched the TV lately and heard about the refugees from Syria and Turkey, I found myself agreeing with some pundits that they just might be dangerous to our health should we let them in our country.  They might be Jihadists.  They want to kill Christians.  They are radicalized to the point of self-extermination in order to exterminate us.
    Today all that changed for me.  As I listened to Elder Kearon's talk in General Conference, I felt a strong impression to pay attention.  I found myself hanging on his every word.  It was reality and it was talked about in a General Conference talk.  Elder Kearon had witnessed the plight of those refugees first hand.  He had looked into their eyes and seen the horror and fear of their desperate situations.
     I vowed to myself that if the opportunity presents itself, I will be in there helping them anyway I can.   These are also Heavenly Father's children.  We can do better.  We can serve them if it comes to it.  I cannot imagine how I would feel if I, or especially, my wife and children were in that situation.  I will not worry about the refugees being dangerous and unless I feel prompted to run, I will serve.
     I know that my own ancestors were refugees.  Some, not all, were kind to them.  They made it.  Maybe in some sense we are all refugees.  Lost and trying to find our way home (meaning Heaven.)  We can help each other find our home.    
     I hope that my kids find themselves being charitable and serving wherever they are called or needed all their lives.  Sacrificing comforts for those around them.  It will be worth it.  It is expected of those who have made covenants.  I am ready to serve.  Tell me where to go. Love you all.  See you in a few.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman


    

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A whole row of MO spring.

Hurray for Sister Trainers

A few of the STL'S stopped by the office after a training meeting. Doesn't my Elder look right at home in the middle of all of them?

Walking Letters to Post office

Note the address. Part of my own private ceremony was to stop and take a picture so I never forget my secretary mission.

Christ, the Lord is Risen Today

Christ, the Lord is Risen Today

March 27, 2016

     A joyous Happy Easter to you! Isn't it amazing? After visiting the spirit world and proclaiming the good news of the gospel, the Savior rose from the dead and appeared again to His beloved friends and followers.  Because of Him I, too, can be with my elder and all our family forever. Hallelujah!
    It is gently raining this Easter morning in Independence. Many trees are blossoming and it looks like Spring! I absolutely love this time of year out here. I am so thankful we have gotten to experience two springs on this mission.
    It has been a week of change for me. I walked to the post office on Friday to hand deliver our release letters to Bishop Kai and President Williams. It is protocol in this mission to send those letters out to departing missionaries' ecclesiastical leaders a month before the return home.  I assume it is that way in all missions. It was somewhat of a ceremonial walk for me. All by myself. Reliving so many walks I have had here in Independence. I believe, at first, those walks may have saved me. Over the past 17 months, my head and I had many conversations with each other; I studied the landscape that changed with the seasons; I read and reread every historical marker I passed; and I talked to my girls on the blessed phone many times along the way. Sometimes we laughed and sometimes we cried. It has reaffirmed to me that a body needs some fresh air and sunlight everyday in order to thrive.
    I have started "training" my replacement, Sister Schlager, this week. I'm telling you, it's a piece of cake. She has secretarial skills. She can type and talk at the same time. She can copy and paste. She doesn't need her husband to come in and fix her mistakes like I still do. All she needs is for me to get out of the way. We have new office replacements coming in from the MTC on April 1 so she will, in turn, train her replacement before she moves in my office. One of the jobs we did this week was clean up the All Mission Directory. This entailed deleting the names of all those that none of our current missionaries would know or remember. It was sobering to me to see how quickly the names come and go. Give us a year and our names will have disappeared off that list. All that will be left will be our file in the cabinet. And then, give that one more year, and we will be history.
    The one thing I have learned as seasons have come and gone while we served here is that we are not indispensable. Others that are more capable will come. The work will continue to move forward. The one that will be blessed because of my piddly bit of service will be Me. I have felt the Lord's tender care in my behalf many times these past months. I love the good news of the Gospel! I love my Savior. Thanks, Independence, for refining me just a bit more.

Hallelujah!
Sister Seaman

In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion

     I have been sitting in a recliner napping and reading.  The recliner is up next to the window in our bedroom and I have noticed that it has been snowing and raining this morning.  Last week it was in the 70's, today it is in the 40's.  You know what they say about Missouri weather, "If you don't like the weather now, wait 5 minutes and it will change."  That statement is so true.  I think that March has come in like a lamb and leaving like a lion.  But Missouri is beautiful in the spring. I will miss it so much.
     I have been thinking about my mom this morning.  She will be 88 on April 17th.  How is it that she can be that old.  My dad died 20 years ago and she has been alone since that time.  That is also hard to believe.  I cannot comprehend the loneliness.  Mom is now staying in a fulltime nursing facility in Clearfield Utah.  She has pretty much lost her mind, pretty much stays in bed with her eyes closed and she has been that way or in a similar condition for a long time.  I have wondered about why she should have to stay on the earth in that condition.  I hadn't been able to find a good answer until recently.  We have been told that we can find answers to our questions by attending the temple.  At a recent temple session, as I was sitting in the celestial room waiting for Sister Seaman to finish up, I remembered to ask the Lord that specific question.  Before I could even get the entire question put to the Lord the answer was coming to my mind.  It was a simple answer.  She has to endure. I am satisfied with the answer as I know that is part of our life experience.  I am also confident that He knows all about her and her condition and blesses her in ways we cannot see or understand.  From my point if view, I hope she can be through pretty soon.  I try to envision the reunion between my dad and her, I can hardly wait for her to go.
     I know that #Because of Him she will be with dad forever and we happen to be a family that has been sealed together for time and all eternity.  And #Because of Him my mother will be resurrected to a perfect and eternal being.  All of us have this same opportunity.  # Hallelujah!
     I love you all.  Remember, Oh Remember!

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman

Sunday, March 20, 2016

KC Temple

Beginning the work for the Ozment family

KC Temple this week

Beginning the work for Eli and Sarah Oz ment's family.

Eli and Sarah Ozment, who were you?

Eli and Sarah Ozment, who were you?

March 20, 2016

   Eli and Sarah? Who were you? What made you happy? Each other? What were your fears, your
joys, your sorrows? Were your successes grounded in the birthing and raising of five sons and four daughters in Tennessee in the mid 1800's? Or were they considered a commodity needed to scrape out a living from the ground and surrounding woods? Sarah, I know you were twenty years younger than Eli. Did you love him? Was he good to you?
     I hope someday to meet this family.  I hope the work we are beginning to do in the temple is "taking" on the other side of the veil. I admit I have a narrow view of marriage. And that view is that all marriages can be blessed and happy. That is because I live in a good marriage. I so want this family to have experienced happiness in their mortal existence!
     Ever since we found Sarah Elizabeth Williams in my family lines and completed her work, I have had an itch to find more "Temple Ready" names. After telling my elder again this week that that was my desire, he got on line and found Eli and Sarah. It was too good to be true. It wasn't true. She was too young. He was too old. Could it be true?
    A dear, sweet, elderly sister missionary on the helpline helped my elder work through the process to verify the work. Seems we had struck gold. Let the work begin.....I was baptized and confirmed for Sarah and her daughters - Susan, Clementine, Amanda, and Luvany. My elder did the work for Watson, James, McDonald, Greenberry, and John. We will go back and work through the process for this family.
    This was a good, good week. Our young missionaries are busy, busy spreading the good news of the gospel and, hopefully, we have been busy building bridges and sealing deals on the other side of the  veil for Eli and Sarah and their children because of the good news of that same gospel.

Aren't we all so blessed?? My love,
Sister Seaman

 A Hard Thing

    As this mission thing winds down, it is getting harder and harder to write about something new.  As a matter of fact, it is getting down-right boring, it must be especially to the reader of this blog.  Sister Seaman and I do the same things everyday, day-in and day-out. On top of that, February and March have been real slow for some reason.  It seems like I have been running my tail off for the last 15 months and now, nothing.  I would like to think that it is because we have fixed all the problems (I don't think there were any,) but its not that.  We are finding time to do family search, look at facebook and instagram and read.
     I think I have said this before, though.  I truly love this mission.  I love the missionaries and their varied personalities.  I love the work that we are engaged in.  I love Missouri, except for the traffic lights (they are possessed.)  I love my family, especially my senior companion. I love the Savior.   Leaving the mission field appears to be a hard thing.
    On a different note,  I have wondered when the time comes for the Savior's return, if Independence will look like it does now.  The old part of Independence is tired and run-down.  There are cancerous spots where nothing but drugs and alcohol live.  There is only a handful of areas that have been renovated.  Right around the Temple site, within a few blocks, there are dozens of churches.  All are old and dying, including The Community of Christ (RLDS.)  I wonder if the Lord will want all the old stuff, the churches and the odd-looking (sea-shell) temple near his Temple.  If I were to guess, and it is purely a guess, I would say that somehow its all going to be cleaned up.  I wouldn't want to be here when that happens.  It will be a hard thing for those still here.
     Hard things are going to happen.  Be ready my friends.  Be ready.  I love you all.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman
    
   

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Where are we, Really?

Where are we, Really?

March 13, 2016

     Today, I look out the window at the fog and think of our weekend. Where are we, really? Some island? Some exotic vacation spot? It gently rained most of the day yesterday blessing this land with moisture. It seemed like Heavenly Father was aware of the special day of March 12 in Independence and was cleansing the land. Where do I begin? Can I just give you a few highlights:

*Elders Stevenson, Anderson, and Deschler preached to all of us yesterday morning in a mission conference. When they arrived, we all immediately stood in a wave and they walked into a silent chapel filled with beautiful, beautiful young people (and some older missionaries).
*Right after he entered the chapel Elder Stevenson asked all missionaries to come by, shake his hand, and tell him where they were from. So, my elder and I got a ten second interview with him. How sweet!
*Elder Anderton, one of our young missionary's, whispered, "Doesn't this remind you of 3rd Nephi?" Yes, it certainly did, Elder Anderton. It certainly did.What a place to be!
*After the conference, we went to Matalili and Jordan Jolly's wedding reception. It was a full-blown Samoan affair. We may as well have been at the Polynesian Cultural Center with the floorshows, food, gift presentations, and dancing.
*This day can only be summed up as one of the highlights of our mission. We will never forget the kindness of the good people of the Blue Mills Ward in Independence, MO. We will never forget the sweetness and goodness of these young missionaries we see so often.
*This mission will always be "part of our DNA" as Elder Stevenson said.
*The Lord's work is the same everywhere but it is different everywhere also. I just want to be a part of that work. And more than that, I want to be a part of that work with my elder, our children, and our grandchildren. I want our grandchildren to feel what we felt yesterday in a meeting with a living prophet. Someday, in a distant land, a living prophet will visit their mission, and they will stand in reverence and respect and be reminded again that as a young missionary, they are truly about the Lord's work. If they only convert themselves, that will be enough.

My love to all,
Sister Seaman

The Truth

     The pundits on Fox News are talking away about nothing and everything and I can't get the feeling out of my head that what they are talking about may not be the truth or at least only partly true.  How can that be? The other channels are far worse.  In my life time, the news has gone from strict truth to hardly true.  The prophecy has certainly come to pass that evil men are calling evil, good and good, evil and that it is hard to tell the difference.  Perceptions are becoming reality. How are we to tell what is the truth in these days of turmoil and uncertainty?  Is there a way to tell?
     Yesterday, our mission had the privilege of hearing a prophet's voice.  Elder Gary Stephenson, a new apostle, spoke in our mission conference and taught us a few things.  One of the things that I thought was most important and timely was his teaching on the Holy Ghost.  He said that through obedience with exactness and hard work (I took this to mean that through our worthiness, study of the scriptures and fulfilling our callings with all diligence) that we would have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost who testifies to the truthfulness of all things. As I consider the current state of the world, I believe that living the way the prophets are directing us is the only way we will find our way.
     I am also aware that our children and grandchildren are coming more prepared than ever before and they will be ready to assume the leadership of the church in the coming days.  But they need to be taught and prepared for their future roles.  They will especially need the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.  I think that they will have times in their lives when they will yearn for sacred direction. 
     "The standard of truth has been erected, no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear; till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." Joseph Smith in the Wentworth Letter
     Nothing will stop the work from progressing.  Have faith and not fear.  It will not be easy but all will turnout alright. Teach your kids the gospel and to be obedient to the commandments and the promises they make with God. Teach them how to repent.  Teach them respect for priesthood authority and how to pray.  Teach them how to find the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. They will find the truth.  Everything depends on how you do these things. We pray for your success.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman
    
    

    

Guests of Honor....Kind of

We got our own leis, cake, and seat of honor. Notice the boxes of food. Whoa! All because we helped our dear little Matalili prepare to go to the temple.

Well Wishers doing the Dollar Dance

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Delores Tuimasavi at the Kansas City Temple for the first time.

I Love to See the Temple

I Love to see the temple

March 6, 2016

     The weather was fine. The temple was filled. Delores went through for her first time yesterday morning. She has been in our temple prep class for many months as she has prepared herself all on her own to do this. She has a complicated background with an almost ex-husband and grown children from another man.  Her children are not interested in living the gospel at this time.
     Our little temple prep class has a personality all its own. We have a core group of sisters who like to come and stay even after they have received their endowments. They stand as a symbol to the others that, yes.....it is possible to go to the temple. Yes, the temple is for everyone. Yes, it takes some hard work on each of their part's to get there. Help is available through a kind bishop and the atonement of Jesus Christ.
     I have learned many things from all of these sisters. The most important thing has been how they have taught me to move forward with a simple faith that all will be well. One of our sisters, Matalili, is going back to the temple this week to be married, and then, move away to UT to live with her husband's family. She has never been away from her mother's side. She and her husband met at the Special Olympics. She is moving forward with a simple faith.
    Our friend, Delores, continually talks of having a relationship with a man who loves and treats her with respect. She so badly wants that in her life so, now, she is moving forward with a simple faith that it will be possible for her someday. On the other hand, another one of our star student's, Simone, claims she is not one bit interested in living with a priesthood holder. But, she is interested in going to the temple for her endowments. All of our sisters have a story. Such a unique bunch here in Independence, MO and we get to play  a teensy, tinsy part in getting them to the temple.
     My girls, I tell you this, because I hope you don't take the temple for granted.  Each of us in the Seaman family lives close enough to a temple to make it a part of our routine. It can be done. I was pleased to get a text from Connie Lewis this week reporting she saw you, Lindsay, with our dear Noah, at the temple for his first time to do baptisms.  Those kind of reports from home mean more to me than you all can guess.

     "I believe that the busy person....can solve problems better and more quickly in the house of the Lord than any where else. At the most unexpected moments, in or out of the temple will come, as a
revelation, the solution to the problems that vex our lives."  John A. Widstoe

     How about it? That promise sounds grand to me. Let's do it, Girls.

My love,
Sister Seaman...aka Mom to Caitlin, Addie, Lindsay, Jessica, Kirsten, and Mauriah


Mixed Feelings

    The count down has started for me.  I am officially "trunky!" We will experience one more transfer (saying goodbye to a few and hello to a few), we will attend one more senior dinner (where we will have to cry and bear our testimonies), we will attend one more stake conference in Warrensburg, MO, and  we will attend one more Mission Conference next weekend and Elder Stephenson, the new Apostle is coming.  I will deliver a few more pieces of furniture, move a few more missionaries and then it will be time to go home.  I hope I can talk about something else besides going home in the next 7 blog reports.  There is officially only 53 more days left in this mission experience.  Home.  Home.
     Independence, Missouri, on the other hand, will remain locked in my heart forever.  I will
remember the grassy, rolling hills, with trees and ponds and that everything is so green it brings tears to my eyes.  I will remember the sacred spirit of the sacred places.  I will remember all of the hundreds of break-off churches surrounding the temple lot.  I will remember the funny-looking sea-shell temple across the street from the temple lot that feels literally so empty.  I will remember the Kansas City Temple in all its glorious beauty and spirit.  I will especially remember the missionaries who have come and gone over the last 16 months.  It has been hard to have such great young friends only to see them leave for home.  I think we will see many of them again through the years.  I will remember the small part we played in at least 6 peoples lives as they went to the temple for the first time here.  I will remember the Samoans and their loving nature.  I will remember Missouri.
     As you can tell, I have very mixed feelings.  Show Low is home but Missouri certainly has a big place in my heart.  The Lord has been so good to us as we have labored here.  The blessings cannot be counted.  I will probably not talk about this again.  Ha Ha.

Love you all,
Elder Seaman
   
    


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Truck and Tractor Pull

Lined up on both sides getting ready to do some serious pulling. Note the national FFA organization banner, girls. Who do you know that was a member at one time?

Missionary Sisters

All these beautiful young sisters had a part to play in the Mulinazzi family's conversion and sealing. Older sisters are Sisters Vest and Toronto.

Sealing Day at KC Temple

The Mulinazzi family with old Bishop Tallimatassi and newly called Bishop Taviuni.

A Good Week

A Good Week

February 29, 2016


    It has been a good week. We witnessed some life changing events take place for a dear family in our ward. This time last year Matt and Desiree Mulanazzi and three of their six children were baptized in the Blue Mills Ward. They also have three other children too young for baptism. We have been watching the calendar hoping we could teach them the Temple Prep classes before we left in April. It happened, and we witnessed their family sealing on Friday.
    This is one of those Ensign type families that took hold of the gospel and never let go. They are the ones who shake their head and say, "How can it not be all so true? It makes such sense for a Father in Heaven to love us and want happiness for us". We have loved, loved to watch their progress this past year. They were introduced to the gospel by young sisters serving in our ward before we arrived last year. As their teaching progress moved along, other sisters came and went through our ward. Even after their baptism, they have had a special connection to the sisters serving in Blue Mills. Part of that sweetness is because their oldest daughter, Mariah, is determined to serve a mission in a few years. She is the one who gained a personal testimony first by attending youth activities.
     On this special occasion, five sisters who had already gone home were able to come back to witness it. Sister Thompson flew in from Florida; Sister Alvarez traveled form WA; and Sisters Pistorius, Allan, and Webster came back from Utah. Then, add sisters who are still serving in the MIM who President Vest gave approval to attend. Can you picture how fulfilling it was for all of those young women to think they had played a part in uniting this family forever?
    Can I tell you a tiny bit about one of their daughter's, Aliyah? Sister Mulinazzi was raised in a big family here in the Kansas City area. She would tell you it was dysfunctional. I tell you her mother was a saint. Those kids were carted to gospel singing churches throughout their lives. Desiree knows her Bible. Her mother raised many children besides her own. Matt and Desiree have done the same thing. They adopted Aliyah when she was ten. Aliyah's mother is Desiree's sister. Through poor choices, she could no longer raise her daughter. In the temple on Friday, when the door was opened for the six children to enter the sealing room, I spotted Aliyah first. She is now 14. She was craning her neck to see what was going on in there. Her eyes were bright, excited, and oh, so happy! It was a witness to me that, yes, Heavenly Father DOES want ALL his children to be happy. And that sealing power is available to all.
    So, here's to a good week. It will go down as one of our highlights on our mission. My Seaman girls and son-in-laws.....I love you dearly. Stay the course. Go to the temple often. Teach your kids what a gift we have been given from a loving Father in Heaven.

My love, love to all of you,
Sister Seaman...aka Mom and Grams

The Tractor Pull

     Last night Sister Seaman and I attended a tractor pull.  I am sure you have seen these type of things on ESPN or some Ag channel.  This is, after all, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas, the farmland of all farmland. For those of you who have never witnessed such an event, it is about oversized very powerful tractors pulling a weighted sled that dives into the ground as the tractor pulls it.  These monsters have huge engines, many of them have more than one, or a jet engine, all of which develop monstrous power and noise (see pictures.)  Just the sound of these tractors shake the ground and vibrate your seat and ears.  We had ear plugs in and even then we covered our ears and laughed at the tickle in our ears as those monsters came down the track straight at us stopping only a few short feet from where we were sitting, hissing and puffing smoke and fire from their exhaust stacks.
     It was an exciting time for a while.  It got a little old after three hours.  The arena was filled with burned alcohol exhaust that stung the eyes and lungs.  They weren't through, but we left anyway.
     As I have thought about the events, that transpired Friday and Saturday, that we were privileged to witness, the temple events and the tractor pull, it was easy for me to see the stark difference in their meaning. On the one hand, an absolutely meaningless event, an absolute waste of time and money, even by the world's standards it would be hard to justify the expense.  On the other hand, a most sacred and life changing event that meant a family was sealed together for time and all eternity.  An event where the value is so great that it is immeasurable.  And as a witness to that event, I will tell you that to see six children holding hands over an alter in the temple with the parents at each end and a sealer with the authority to seal on earth and heaven, seal them together as a family, the feelings are more than I can describe.  My heart felt like it would burst from indescribable joy.
     Friends and family, beware of the time you spend on things that have absolutely no value in the long run.  We should all evaluate our lives and decide today, again, and again, what is really important.  Could we go on with our lives if we didn't get to watch the Super Bowl live or at all? Could we go on if we didn't get to see a tractor pull?  But when you make and keep covenants, you do get to go on.  Choose ye this day whom ye shall serve.  The sacred things are far more important to me.  Like keeping my family intact.  Love you.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman
    
    
     
    
   

Monday, February 22, 2016

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Office

Our 2 AP'S had birthdays this week. The office fed them breakfast. Front row (l-r): Sister Christensen, Sister & Elder Fuller, Elders Butterfield & Anderton. Back row: Us, Elder & Sister Schlager.

Pack Your Bags

PACK YOUR BAGS

February 21, 2016

     My message today is a message of Hope. Hope for any of you who might read this blog and think you might want to serve a mission someday. I am here today to say "You can do it."
     I have learned when any missionary packs their bags for their mission, he or she brings ALL their baggage with them. Meaning emotional baggage; past experience baggage; all of "Who they are" baggage. And then, over time, the miracle happens. If the work is put in on their part, the Savior makes up the difference and a successful mission occurs!
    In our time of service here, we have worked with 16 different Senior missionaries in the MIM office. We have seen them come and go. I have learned things I needed to learn from working with each one of them. I consider each as my friend. Before I tell you about one of them, let me give you a quote that I read this week. It came from Paula Fish at home in Show Low, AZ.

     "When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with
       cries of "Me too!" be sure to cherish them. Because those weirdos are your tribe."

     I gave this quote to Sister Fuller who is in charge of phones and Ipads for the young missionaries.
Her and I are surely in the same tribe. She knew about as much about a computer as I did when she came in December. As for Ipads, she doesn't own one. And doesn't intend to. And when a real phone isn't working for missionaries, that's another adventure to listen to her talking to them about how to fix it. So, can you see why I just love her? Here is a bit of trivia about my friend:

*She LOVES shoes. Me too!.....she cleaned out her closet awhile back and I got a few good pair off  
  of her.
*She loves, loves straight up COKE with no ice.  The ice will dilute
  the flavor. Sonic is her first stop of the day.Not me. I'll take a diet occasionally. But I get her.
*She LOVES her nails. Me too! Only she came to us with "Carnival nails"; meaning a different color
  on each nail. I was appointed to tell her that that  is not Handbook Legal. So, she has settled for pale,
  one-colored nails for now. Occasionally, she can't help herself and shows up with sparkles on them.
  She tells me she feels naked without them.
*She calls me and the young missionaries "Honey". I don't, but I get her.
*When I have to send a phone call to her about an Ipad or missionary phone, I warn her first. I yell
   through the glass. We have a little laugh and away she goes with her expertise.
*She can be talking on her personal cell phone and try to send that call through to someone else in the
  office on the mission land line. Me too!
*She owns a Big Bird yellow colored car with her favorite football teams plastered on the windows.
  Not me, but I love the happy color of Yellow. I don't even like football that much, but she is
  passionate about it when it comes to certain teams. I will not name them here.
*She wants to serve because she says she needs all the blessings she can get. Me too!

     I tell you about Sister Fuller, who is way beyond age 70, because she is a normal gal working on having a spiritual experience by serving this mission. She has baggage like all of us. She admits it. I have lots and lots of baggage too. And guess what? The Lord is willing to accept my piddly little offering of serving here. So, thinking about serving a mission? Pack your bags. The Lord will take you. Hope you have a grand time.

My Love,
Sister Seaman

Friday Night Out

     Friday night out at the Independence Visitors Center was real interesting.  The speakers were direct descendants of Joseph Smith.  Kimberly Jo Smith is a great-great grand-daughter.  She is also a member of the LDS Church.  She has done much in her life to reconcile the Joseph and Emma Smith family to the LDS Church.  It is rough going.  The animosity between the family and the church is still very real.
     Sister Smith talked about the rumors and falsehoods that were passed down from generation to generation in the family.  She talked about her conversion story and what it took to overcome all of the stuff she had been taught.  She said she was told to avoid the Mormon missionaries because they would hook you. She told us that each time she had an experience with the Mormons she could feel the Holy Ghost which she knew and relied on in her life.  She said it was confusing but that she had always been taught to follow the Holy Ghost and that's what she did.  The Holy Ghost eventually led her and some of her family to join the church.
     After joining the church, she said that she started attending Relief Society meetings and was very excited about it.  However, on one of her first meetings they started teaching the lesson from the study guide about Brigham Young.  Her past teachings caught up with her when it came to Brigham Young.  She had been taught that Brigham Young was the man who had made life miserable for Emma and her family.  Sister Smith did not attend Relief Society again for the next two years as that was how long the church was studying the teachings of Brigham Young. She said that it took time and a great deal of prompting by the Holy Ghost to overcome the issues with Brigham Young.
     To hear her talk about her journey and the history the Smith family brought me to believe that like all of us we tend to believe in perception rather than truth.  Often times rumors repeated over and over become the perceived truth.  That is what happened on both sides of the religious fence as it pertained to the LDS and the RLDS.  As an example, she said that she was taught that out in Utah, if you apostatized from the church, you were taken to the top of the Salt Lake Temple and thrown into the Great Salt Lake.  She said that on a subsequent visit to Temple Square in Salt Lake that she was surprised that there was not a lake next the Temple.
     I believe Sister Smith and others like her, are now beginning to see, by way of the Holy Ghost, that the truth is far from what they were all taught.
      Thanks Sister Smith for giving me a small glimpse into the life of the Prophet and his wife Emma and their descendants.
     The great lesson for me was that you must live worthy of the Holy Ghost at all times.  And you must be willing to follow those promptings as they come no matter how difficult or strange they may seem.  It will make all the difference. 
      
    Sincerely,
     Elder Seaman


     
    


 



   






Sunday, February 14, 2016

Amelia and Her Guests

Amelia Earhart seemed happy for us to visit her birth place in Atchinson, KS.

Valentine's Day 2016

I hear the train a'comin...rollin' round the bend

February 14, 2016

     There is something lonesome, yet romantic about a train whistle to me. Where is it going? Where has it been? What will the next stop bring in the life of boarding passengers? I must feel this way since a train is so foreign to me. The one train riding experience I had in my life before Missouri was a Cub Scout Train ride from Holbrook to Winslow, AZ. My mom was a den leader at that time. And boy, I loved Cub Scout Day more than any of those boys ever did. Another train experience came every morning for four years as I rode the school  bus 20 miles to Snowflake, AZ for my higher education. We stopped at the track as we entered the small town. The bus driver opened the door; looked both ways; shut the door and we moved on to school. In all those four years I don't remember ever seeing a train. 
    That small track in Snowflake, AZ carried box cars. No passenger ever got off to a loved one's waiting arms in that small town. Now, down the road 50 miles to Holbrook, AZ. a few passengers would leave or return home at that small depot. Our family drove down there when I was in fourth grade to pick up our new pet monkey that was arriving straight from the jungle. The rail workers dropped off a wooden box in my dad's arms. Wild screeches were coming from it. That's an Eb Lewis story for another day.
     We followed the train tracks this week to Atchinson, Kansas to deliver new mattresses to the elders serving up there. The country side was bleak, yet with a beauty of its own. The trains move right through folks' back yard. The whistles are long and loud. So many box cars moving goods across the United States.
     Amelia Earhart was born in Atchinson, Kansas and my elder graciously made a stop at her birth home for me. She was such a tiny woman! She had such a longing for adventure! I loved to see it all, then walk safely out to the mission truck and drive back to Independence, MO with my seatbelt on. For now, my adventure lies right there in that mission office.
     Speaking of the office, our sweet Visitor Center Leaders, Sisters Schiess and Oleson, texted me last Sunday for Elder Fuller's phone number. Now, has your mind ever taken a sidetrack and assumed something else when people are addressing you? Mine did at that time. I assumed they meant Elder Fullmer, who was a visitor center missionary with his wife and recently went home to Utah. I texted back that if they reminded me on Monday, I would find that number for them. They replied that it was ok; they would be in on Monday. True to their word, they appeared in the office. There I was standing right by Elder Fuller, our car czar, and told the sisters that if they waited a minute I would get that number for them. Sweet Sister Schiess, without a smile, very kindly said, "that's ok. He's standing right here."  Guess who went off in the bathroom and had some serious laughs on herself? Me. I can't wait to tell those sisters my side of the story. Think they will crack a smile or will they be too polite? As for Elder Fuller....he will like to hear it too when the time is right. On the other hand, maybe none of them will understand my sense of humor.
     On this Valentine's Day, my heart will be in AZ when our third grandson receives the priesthood. All the local Seaman sisters will be there with their families. Noah Baum, how did you grow up so fast? Do you know the power you are receiving today at the hands of your dad? Your adventure is just beginning. Your life will be full of so many of them! You will probably ride lots more trains or fly in more planes than I ever dreamed of. And that's wonderful!
     My world is small. I am A-OK with that. Trying to be an office secretary is my fun for now. As I work in there everyday and hear the train whistle blowing through Independence, I am reminded of my home in AZ. Where you are. Where your aunts, uncles, and cousins are. Where Home is.

MY LOVE TO MY FAMILY,
Sister Seaman

The Hero

    This week has been a sad one for me.  A friend of mine died in Arizona.  Kevin Brackney was that friend.  He was my boss for many years as I worked as the Business Manager and he as the Superintendent of the Show Low Unified School District.  He and I waged many a battle together to make a budget work for another year without enough money.  We had a good team during those years and had many good times but they were not without high anxiety and stress. 
     Thinking about it has caused me to contemplate if Mr. Brackney thought it was worth it.  I wonder if he thought it was worth the ugliness or the high stress meetings with disillusioned staff and public.  Or the constant barrage of changes in the education law or testing methods or staff evaluations.  The constant give and take of politicians who have their own personal agendas.
     I think of him as a hero and here is why.  As a superintendent of a school district, you take on an impossible job, knowing that you can not win the war, only some battles along the way.  You take pride in the teachers who give their all everyday in a classrooms filled with kids who are not getting what they need at home, if they have a "home." You try to get your teachers paid what they are worth, but generally, in the process. only alienate them because it will never be enough.  You had to cut budgets and wages and benefits to make things work.  You had to keep a Governing Board happy which is impossible as time moves on.  The law suits, the disciplinary hearings, dismissal hearings, the endless meetings and interviews just keep coming.
     Mr. Brackney,  thanks for always thinking of the kids.  Thanks for listening to me when you didn't want to, because it was generally bad news.  Thanks for being black and white about education and not giving in to the endless personal agendas and the wanderings of crazy politicians that were always on the horizon.  Thanks for sticking up for the employees, especially as it related to health insurance (a fight that you could not win) and especially for the underdogs along the way.  You were a succor for the underdog. Thanks for juggling lots of balls and keeping them up.  Thanks for showing lots of tenacity and fire when you believed in something.
    Mr. Brackney, thanks for doing the impossible for so long, without the money or means, going it alone when you thought you were right, without much hope of long-term success.
      It was worth it to me.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman
   

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Visitors From Home

Tisha and Danny Crandell brightened our night with a short visit. So good to see people we love.

Office Temps

Elders Seaman and Anderton laboring over Sister Seaman's history work.

Two Tight Companions

Are You Kidding Me?

Are You Kidding Me?

February 7, 2015

    I knew when I was called to this position that I was the Keeper of the Records. Our office has History books laying around that previous secretaries had put together. They are all neatly bound, THICK, and beautifully put together. It seems that if anyone sneezed in the mission that it was noted. So, here I am......President Vest asked me to just keep it on the computer and then, send it in to Salt Lake electronically instead of in book form.
   It is time to get it sent in. I have faithfully been keeping notes, pictures, talks, etc, throughout the year on the office computer. I asked my elder to come in at the beginning of the week to check it out before I sent it out west. He took one look at my business and with a look of, "are you kidding me?", he politely explained that it would never fly because it was a mess. (He didn't say that, but I knew what he meant). How was this old schoolteacher who had no computer experience to know there is a difference between things called Folders and Word Documents? And those other things that have a red icon called PDF's? I had a little of everything saved in a long row and thought Salt Lake would really enjoy looking at it all.
    After a few tears and prayers in the bathroom, I got myself together and moved Elder Seaman into my office. If he couldn't figure out my troubles, the AP's were in and out and they could add their expertise. It has been a busy week for all of them. The end of this story is that No, it is not finished. Yes, it will get finished soon.
     I am embarrassed to tell you all this story. I know some of you may finally now see that I truly don't get computer work. And then, the next thing you need to realize is that the Lord has truly, truly blessed me these past months. Aren't you amazed I didn't flat blow-up that mission computer adding this and that here and there? Aren't you amazed that missionaries have come and gone safely this past year to the Missouri Independence Mission? This little story is to remind me and you that if we try our very hardest to be faithful and do our assigned callings, the Lord will make up the difference. He sent angels my way this week; namely Elders Seaman, Butterfield, and Anderton.
    On a different note, it has been a sweet past two days. Danny and Tisha Crandell blew in for a few hours. Then, our special friend, Matalili, took out her endowments yesterday. The sun shone off and on throughout the week. Life is good in Missouri.

My love to all of you!
Sister Seaman

Tender Mercies

     President and Sister Crandell came to see us Friday afternoon.  We were so glad to see them.  They had picked up a new truck in New York and were driving it home.  They were stopping along the way to see a few sites and we were one of them.  They could only stay for a few hours but wanted to visit us and the church historical sites we could get in before dark.  We went to the Temple Lot and the Community of Christ Temple and then decided we could make Hawn's Mill before dark if we hurried. They had never been to Hawn's Mill.  It is difficult to find and way out of the way.
     The guide at the Church of Christ Temple Lot was nice to us.  President Crandell told the guide that he might be related to one of their apostles.  Turned out the President Crandell found a booklet with the name of his Uncle on it who just happened to be one of their apostles.  What a tender mercy.
     Hawn's Mill is about an hour and a half north east of Independence.  We drove like crazy and talked about Show Low and the Stake and the people.  I sort of got lost and thought I had missed the turn off the pavement.  We drove and drove looking for the little dirt road called Catawaba and never found it. It was getting dark. I finally gave up and turned into a road to turn around and head back.  I looked up and to my amazement the road sign said Catawaba.  We had made it.  One of the Lord's tender mercies, don't you think.
     It was almost dark on arriving at the Hawn's Mill Site, but we took pictures and talked about the significance of the place.  Not a thing is there but an open field.  It is hard to believe that a mob outright killed 17 men and boys that day so long ago on that very spot and that the dead were thrown down a well that was being dug on that site. The well ended being a makeshift grave which was then quickly covered because the mob had told the women that they would be back to desecrate the bodies.  The location of which has now been lost over the many years and has not been located yet.  It would be considered sacred ground by many.
     Anyway, it was a great weekend.  The Crandell's snuck out in the middle of the night, on their way to Texas to see their son, Josh and his family.
     The Lord continues to bless us here in Missouri and we are very grateful to serve here.  We love you all.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman

 


    

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Our Girls

We learn to love our ward sisters.  Sister Schiess  (r) and Sister Peterson are also the Visitor center Leaders. Sister Peterson just transferred out to another adventure. We can see some of our granddaughters doing this in the future. This picture was taken downstairs at the VC.

She loves us

Little Livi typed us this letter. How could we not post it?

To My Girls

To My Girls

January 31, 2016

     To My Girls......the Old Guard in the mission office will make a complete change this week. Our
mission nurse friend, Sister Arnold will be forging a new life in North Dakota by the week's end. We will be the last ones standing. Oh, of course, we can testify by experience that it doesn't matter to the Lord who runs the place, as long as they are willing and able. The Schlager's replaced the Black's without a glitch. The Fuller's have replaced the Crow's with not one word of complaint. A new couple has already been called and will replace us in April. And soon.....our names and faces will be forgotten by busy missionaries.
    That's the plan. The way it is supposed to work. Who was this mission for? Elder and Sister Seaman. And you and your families. I am asking once more, have you felt the blessings? Have you seen the growth in your mom and dad? Are we all better for this experience? I think we are. I know I am. And I have learned to love it.
    When this last bunch of departing missionaries were getting ready to go home, Sisters Pistorius and Hansen and I were talking about going back into the real world where their first name is no longer Sister. Sister Pistorius seemed very comfortable to be called Sydnie soon. As for Sister Hansen, she seemed at a genuine loss. "I don't know what I want to be called. Abigail? Abby? I don't know." I have thought a lot about that. Now, just to ease your minds, she settled on Abby. I know it because I saw it on Facebook.  I understand how Sister Hansen, aka Abby, was feeling. Your dad and I can see that happening with us. So, where do we go for answers? To our patriarchal blessings.
     It was a beautiful late summer morning on August 21, 1967 when my mom drove me to Snowflake, AZ to get my patriarchal blessing from Patriarch David A. Butler. I was going to be a freshman in high school and my parents felt I was "age worthy" to appreciate the experience. The Butler's had a beautiful yard. Sister Butler wrote in beautiful handwriting as her husband pronounced that blessing on my head. The windows were open and a cool breeze blew through the air.They were so kind and so old. Isn't that a funny memory? Maybe they were a few years older than I am now.
     I tell you this little memory and encourage you to go again to your patriarchal blessings. It seems the older a person gets, the more treasured some lines can become. And they may not even be lines that were treasured the last time it was read by your eyes.
     As the office staff changes, it makes missionaries more aware that surely, sometime, Elder Seaman and I will hit the road ourselves. Then, they ask, "What are you going to do?" Well, this is all we know for now. We have three months to finish strong out here. Lots can happen in three months. We are willing. And then the rest of our lives, we are wide open for more good adventures. We just want to be left standing worthy when we meet the Lord. We want to be standing there with all of you. Keep up the good work in your own homes. It's worth it. And, just a reminder, you are all choice spirits and love and cooperation abides in our family. I know that because my patriarchal blessing says so.

I so love you Mauriah, Kirsten, Jessica, Lindsay, Addie, and Caitlin!
Mom.....aka Sister Seaman

The Outer Limits

     Remember the old TV show called the Outer Limits.  It was popular back in the 1960's when we only had black and white TV.  What? Oh, maybe that was the Twilight Zone, its been so long I forget.  Anyway, it was kind of scary at the time.  My grandkids will not believe that the TV was only in black and white and came to us by the use of an antennae (sometimes with foil on them).  Lots of static and rolling lines.  Hard to believe technology has come so far. The mission has outer limits too.  I was in two of them this week.
     Most of the missionaries feel that they have been sent to Siberia, when they receive the assignment to spend time in these kind of places.  They wonder if they have done something wrong and are being punished for something they did.  That is simply not the case.  Show Low may qualify as an outer limit, but I know that the missionaries there love to get that assignment.
     As near as I can tell, there were two places where missionaries reside that I had not been to in the previous 15 months.  One of them is called Maryville and the other is called Marshall, both in Missouri but at nearly opposite ends.  Maryville is 1 hour and 45 minutes north of Independence and Marshall is 1 hour and 15 minutes East Northeast.  Both towns are about the size of  Show Low (10,000+/-) and both are rural and remote. One has a small  struggling ward in it, the other has a struggling branch.  Definitely not the same as Show Low.
     It was kind of quirky that both places, that I had never been before, needed something from me in the same week.  I believe that I have now been in 100% of the 110 or so apartments in the mission.  Most of them I can drive to without the GPS now because I have been to them enough times.  It must be time to go home.
     I know that if the missionaries assigned to these outer limit places are hard workers and get the confidence of the members, they are loved and appreciated and the work goes forward and they have a great experience.  If they don't work hard, and goof-off a lot, they have a tough experience and bad memories.  It is a lot like life.  When we work hard and gain the confidence of the people we work with things go well and we are happy.  If not, not so good.  The outer limits provide an even greater testing ground and also greater blessings.
     Work hard my grandkids, even if you get the tough assignments.  Blessings will flow.

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman
    
    

 

  

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Cold Morning

Missionaries on their way to Worldwide Broadcast. I love this time.

Worldwide Missionary Broadcast

Watching from the VC. The room was full. The missionaries in the mission were watching at stake centers in their area. We added over 230 missionaries to the count of 75,0000 worldwide. Not bad.

A Busy Spot

Mission office on transfer day. Pick up their mail, take care of business, and get on the road. The Lord is counting on you.

Ice on the Missouri

Saints crossed this river as they were driven out of MO. How did they survive?

A COLD TRANSFER

A COLD TRANSFER

January 24, 2016

     The Lord was busy in Missouri Independence Mission this week. I have come to love and dread Transfers at the same time. Love because I get to see the excitement that change brings. Dread because we "lose" some of our friends for a short while. Five of our friends were released to go home. Eleven new missionaries arrived. On the Thursday morning when missionaries meet and greet their new companions is when the fun begins. Our new car czar, Elder Fuller, is giving driving tests to new drivers as quickly as he can. His wife, Sister Fuller, is collecting and dispensing phones to new companionships if needed. Elder Schlager is answering money questions while his wife is checking mail and baptism referrals. Sister Arnold, our nurse, is holed up in the back calmly listening to missionaries medical problems while her phone is ringing off the hook from doctors' offices scheduling appointments for everything from skin rashes to headaches. My elder is usually down at the Batcave handing out bedding, spatulas, blenders, and bikes. Or he is on the road delivering beds to those apartments that need an extra mattress after an emergency transfer has been made at the last minute. As for me....I try to stay in my designated office and act busy.
     I could write a book about the things I hear in there....."I'm up for this.....I can go to the end of nowhere and open a new area"......"I've been praying for a transfer!"......."My companion has been praying for a transfer"......."I am not ready to go home!"......"It's time. I'm ready to go home and get on with Life."....."Will you take a picture and send to my mom so she doesn't freak out when she doesn't hear from me this week?"....."Can I schedule a appointment with President Vest?"....."President Vest wants me to schedule an appointment so He can see me."......."WHERE is your husband? I need .......and I can't find him."......."Sister Seaman, I can't find Elder Seaman anywhere and I just want to thank him for all he has done for me."
     I have learned that my elder tries to stay clear of the office because he does not like Good-byes. He will return to find all kinds of sticky notes plastered on his desk for requests and, also, little handwritten Thank You notes.
      So, to Elders Stallings, Cluster, Sanger and  Sisters Pistorius and Hansen. See you around the bend.  There are eleven new ones right on your tail. They will adjust to missionary life and the Lord will turn them into wonderful missionaries just like all of you have been. My grandkids....did you read this? When you go on your missions there will be lots of people out there supporting you. More importantly, The Lord will be on your side. You will learn to love and dread Transfers just like this old sister missionary does.

My Love to my grandkids,
Sister Seaman....aka Grams to Cash, Sailor, Avy, Max, Zane, Macy, Noah, Ezra, Mikael, Elijah, Kyson, Brookie, Teag, Ellie, Livi, Chloe, Mattie, Kenzie, Jett, Ethan, Kortney AND Cody....

Ditto

     Sister Seaman and I were just saying that it must be time to go home because there is nothing new to talk about.  It is becoming harder and harder to come up with something new to write about.  Our duties here in the mission field have been the same for 15 months now.  The missionaries come and go every 6 weeks.  The successes and trials are much the same.  I can say ditto to what my companion has written above.  Heart-ache and joy. Heart-ache and joy. Repeat.
     Every now and then I find myself slipping into the self-pity mode and wonder why I was called to deliver the furniture and the beds and the vacuum cleaners.  Other senior missionaries seem to have better assignments (ie, visitor center, FM, etc.)  My assignment seems rather low on the totem pole.  I find myself wanting to shirk my duties.  Weird, huh?
     But then something happens and everything changes, again.  The mission opened up a new area to elders down in Chanute, KS.  A two hour drive from the mission office.  I drove down there 3 times this month.  Once to find an apartment, once to sign the lease for the apartment and then to deliver the furniture for the new apartment.  These are some long days by myself.  As I drive, I find myself whistling or singing to the music (often Piano Guys, or Celtic Women or Enya.)  I watch the scenery around me change from rolling hills to straight-out flat.  But even in winter there is something very beautiful about this country.  I love it.
     On the last trip to Chanute, I have two missionaries with me to help unload the heavy furniture items.  The apartment is upstairs.  I am so glad to have them with me.  On the way back, the missionaries are asking me some life questions.  One of them asks me what I thought he ought to say in his homecoming report (he went home this week.)  What would be the most important thing he could say.  He had been thinking about it, and couldn't find anything to say. He said that he really wasn't sure why he came out and wondered whether it was worth it.  This young man was a great missionary.  He had been a Zone leader, District Leader, and Trainer.  I thought about it for a few seconds and told him that no matter what he thought of his success as a missionary, he should remember that the Lord will love him forever because of his sacrifice.  Because no matter what else happens, he did what he was ask to do with no thought of reward, he was obedient and he gave his all to the work for two years.  I told him that at some point in the near future, the Lord would let him know how much that sacrifice meant.  And that he should never forget what the Lord thought of him.
     My cup was running over at the conclusion of that conversation.  He left me a note as he went home that said thanks.  I say you are the one that needs to hear it from me.  Thanks Elder Stallings, thanks for being a very good young man and a friend forever. 

Sincerely,
Elder Seaman